Long-Term Care Planning creates the likelihood of better outcomes as we age. Unfortunately, we don’t like thinking about death, illness, and possible loss of independence as we age. So, we procrastinate on planning.
Since October is National Long-Term Care Planning month, use this time as a yearly opportunity to make or review a plan – yours and/or an elderly relative’s.
Long-term care planning increases your chances of living life on your own terms as you age.
Consider reviewing each of these areas this month.
Review Your Medicare Options
Medicare enrollment or changes are limited to specific times. You can only switch or cancel a Medicare plan during October 15 through December 7, 2022. Most Medicare plans made changes to coverage and costs. Some added benefits include dental, vision, drug coverage, transportation services, and meals.
Contact your plan representative or a Medicare insurance agent to review your options.
An advance directive is a legal document. It instructs your healthcare providers as to who should make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot because you’re unconscious, unable to communicate, or incapacitated. It instructs your healthcare representative about your wishes and ensures they’ll be respected. You have the authority to decide whether to consent to, refuse, or stop receiving medical treatment. Make those decisions now.
If you’ve already completed your Advance Directive, use this time to review your wishes and your chosen decision maker. Make sure you’ve uploaded it to your providers and online medical records.
Please! Communicate your wishes, once you’ve determined what they are, with your family. Don’t assume they know what you want. Discussing now ensure they’re emotionally equipped to follow through when the time comes.
Update and Review Your Will and Estate Planning
“Your will is part of an estate plan, but an estate plan is more than just a will. However, they both fall under the umbrella of estate planning, so you’ll want to understand the limitations and benefits of each. While a will is a legal document, an estate plan is a collection of legal documents.”
A will isn’t something you can set and forget. Experts recommend revisiting your will and other estate-planning documents at least every few years. Common reasons to review it are life event changes. Including things like marriage, divorce, deaths, the birth or adoption of a child, coming into a lot of money, or moving to a different state.
Review Your Driving
Winter is coming. Which means bad weather and dark nights. October is a good time to think about how long you plan to keep driving.
No one wants to lose the independence of driving and all the autonomy in represents. But what you really don’t want is being forced to stop driving. Either because you’ve had one too many accidents or close calls, you’ve gotten lost, or you’ve hurt someone.
Assess your driving skills. Take the 55 Alive online course offered by AARP. It’s inexpensive and mature drives can get discounts on their auto insurance. Ask a friend or family member to ride with you and observe your driving. Accept their feedback with grace.
Consider your health diagnoses and driving. For example, are you at risk for dizziness due to heart issues or diabetes? Don’t wait for your doctor, neighbor, or family member to report you to DMV.
Have Long-Term Care Discussions with Your Family
An estimated 70% of people currently turning 65 will need long-term care in their lifetime. And they will receive care for an average of 3 years.
Long-term care services include assistance with daily activities. Support entails things such as bathing, dressing, medication management, meal preparation, housekeeping, and more. Usually, you need help in these areas because of physical or cognitive impairment.
In your discussions, talk about your desires and preferences.
Most people want to age at home. So, discuss the following questions:
- How will you stay at home?
- Who will help you when needed?
- How much help is family willing and able to give? What kind of help?
- How much support can you afford to pay?
- How will you know it’s time to move to supportive housing and care?
- What’s important to you in a care setting?
Explore Senior Housing and Care Options in Your Area
Get the assistance of a local senior housing and care professional. Discover what’s available and how much it costs. They intimately know the options, care, amenities, and costs of different facilities.
Increase the Odds of Living Life On Your Own Terms by Planning
This October celebrate Long-Term Care Planning Month by reviewing the above areas. While no one can predict the future, Long Term Care Planning increases your chances of living life on your own terms as you age.